Monday, October 17, 2016

A Renowned Canadian Architect is In Court Right Now, Trying to Ban Chief Wahoo

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 12:29 PM

Via Canada's National Post, a notable architect and indigenous activist will be in court at 1 p.m. — on this, the afternoon of Game three of the ALCS, the first to be played in Toronto — where a judge will decide whether to ban the Cleveland Indians from wearing the Chief Wahoo logo and even "displaying their name" as they face the Blue Jays.

Douglas Cardinal filed an application for an emergency injunction Friday, naming the Indians, Major League Baseball, and Rogers Communications, Inc. Rogers Communications owns the Blue Jays and the stadium where they play, the Rogers Centre. 

The injunction asks that the Ontario court ban the above companies from “displaying, broadcasting, communicating or otherwise disseminating images, representations, depictions or descriptions using the word ‘Indian’ or any form thereof in relation to the major league baseball team known as the ‘Cleveland Indians’ and the graphic images popularly known as the ‘Chief Wahoo’ logo, which depicts a racist caricature of an Indigenous Person.”

As the National Post reports, it's unclear how the ban would be enforced, but "the injunction would not apply to spectators carrying or wearing their own Cleveland merchandise." It would, however, apply to Rogers’ broadcast of the game, both on television and on screens inside the Rogers Centre. 

Though the Indians' regular away uniforms say "Cleveland" not "Indians" across the chest, and the "Block C" is the logo on the away hats, Chief Wahoo is on the left-arm sleeve of every regular and alternate jersey the team wears. It's unclear how the team would deal with a ban enacted so close to the first pitch.

The team has made no comment, beyond saying that they are "aware" of the filing. (They did provide a short statement to Cleveland.com, saying they would not comment on matters that "distract from [their] pursuit on the field.")

Indians Public Affairs Chief Bob DiBiasio was unavailable when we reached out by phone. We'll update if and when he responds, though we suspect he'll just give us the one-liner above. 

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